Neuralstem Inc. has received the green light to begin the first human stem cell trial to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The company’s stock soared on the news.
Neuralstem said the trial will be under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Eva L. Feldman, Director of the University of Michigan Health System ALS Clinic and the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery. Feldman called the trial a major step forward in the treatment of ALS. “In work with animals, these spinal cord stem cells both protected at-risk motor neurons and made connections to the neurons controlling muscles. We don’t want to raise expectations unduly, but we believe these stem cells could produce similar results in patients with ALS,” Dr. Feldman said.